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Wired’s experiment with transparency

September 4, 2008

A writer gets a cool opportunity to do a piece on legendary Hollywood screenwriter Charlie Kaufman and turns it into a chance for Wired to go transparent; blog, film it and invite people in.

I guess the idea is to take a Kaufman-like approach to Kaufman.

Here’s the pitch video- it’s a little low tech and tough to watch..

While this is all very 2.0 and “on trend” it creates some interesting problems and issues.

1. Does any one care enough to spend valuable time going through this stuff?

2. Who might these people be? How can you give them what they want?

3. Is it really transparent- what are we missing/not seeing?

4. Notes and process also need to be compelling. It’s not enough to just post or shoot you need to do more- real creative skills are required

5. Does the telling of the backstory take away from the main effort?

It’s a brave attempt to do something new and original and the goal of taking the reader into the process is nice. The challenge is making all this stuff compelling enough to make people want to check it out.

Perhaps thinking it of two distinct parts is the problem; the research and the story or the process and the story.

Does it need to be “a whole”; something we just explore  and navigate around with hyperlinks et al?

It’s smart of Wired to try this and I think with more work they could be on to something interesting that could lead to a new type of more “game-like”media experience.

Clearly, not everyone wants to be taken on a ride down a “wormhole”, but there will be a few who might appreciate the experience, if it was designed correctly.

Posted by Ed Cotton

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